So, the last 24 hours or so have been a bit of a whirlwind! We’ve just got home from the Splash Landings Hotel at Alton Towers. It all started yesterday lunchtime when Loz and I were musing at what to do with Georgia this weekend. What with Christmas and the like, we’d not actually done anything fun recently, it was all ‘family admin’ – you know, visiting people, doing homework, etc, all pleasant enough, just not FUN! Feeling rather random I had a look at the Alton Towers website, I knew when the park is closed the hotels can be pretty cheap..

Hmm it came up at £350 odd quid for a stay that very night, that wasn’t cheap at all. Balls.

Loz said something along the lines of ‘wouldn’t it be amazing to pick G up from school and whisk her away somewhere’.. I agreed!

Then I looked a little closer, it had selected a suite. I changed the parameters and bingo… the price was much more affordable. We decided ‘Fuck it!’ and Loz called and booked it. We ran round like blue arsed flies finishing off our work and packing everything so we could actually collect G from school and leave. We also had to get Loz a maternity swimming costume too before we left, thankfully we did it! When we told Georgia at the school gates what was happening she was over the moon, and massively shocked!

The journey started off well, until the matrix signs told us that the M1 was shut, between junction 21 to 22.. and we needed to get to junction 24. Arse. I remembered that you could get to the Towers from the M6 too – that was at junction 19, so well before the troubles. Yay! Google Maps Navigation adjusted the course, and it suggested the M6 route would take about the same time as the original one! Yay! It wasn’t wrong, although we ended up on some weird back-roads, we got there just after 19.30, not bad considering the delays and rush hour.

Splash Landings Hotel

We checked in and booked a table for dinner, usually at this time Georgia would be in bed, but she was pinging off the walls with excitement, it was lovely to see. After our dinner she wanted to watch the entertainment on the ‘Ship’ in the bar. We sat in a corner, and G sat watching the singers, when she got bored he came charging back to us, and then ran round, played in the themed lifts and generally seemed to have a whale of a time. It was actually Loz who was flagging from tiredness , so we headed off to bed!

It wasn’t the best nights sleep I’ve had, I like my own bed, and it was odd having Georgia in the room too! We woke at 8am and headed to breakfast around 8.45am, there was a little queue to get into ‘Flambo’s Exotic Feast’, but we were quickly seated and had a pretty decent buffet breakfast. When we left the restaurant the queue was horrific, it stretched back very far, I was glad we were early!

Cheesy Family Shot

We went back to the room and packed our belongings, ready to check out just before 10am as the pool opened then! We got to the pool and it was VERY busy, there was a very long queue, and seemingly not enough staff, we already had our tickets so G and I went to get changed while Loz joined the queue to hire some towels, she would meet us poolside.

Almost 20 minutes passed and there was no sign of Loz in the pool, I kept looking around, wondering if I’d missed her, keeping half an eye on Georgia going nuts in the water with all the cool massive floats. I was a bi worried that something untoward had happened, so we got out of the pool to look for her. On stepping into the changing room, she was standing looking very flustered and talking to a group of people. They have new lockers at Cariba Creek which cost two pounds to use, and when you open them you get just one pound back. A fair number of people were caught out by this as everyone assumed they’d be £1 (like most other pools), but on top of this, it appeared lots of the lockers were faulty, and eating all the money and not locking.

This had happened to Loz, twice! She’d found one member of staff who essentially said, ‘Don’t moan at me about the lockers as I can’t do anything!’, and she’d already been to the reception twice to complain but no one came to help. I don’t like seeing anyone stressed, especially at six months pregnant, so we emptied Loz’s locker and I carried her stuff to put in the locker I used. I had to battle past lots of angry people being very cross at the rip-off / broken lockers, there was lots of shouting, swearing and aggression, not very nice for a family resort! I piled the stuff into my locker and met Loz and G in the pool.

Cariba Creek Waterpark

Thankfully the rest of the experience in Cariba Creek was very enjoyable, it was very clean and looked after, all the equipment seemed to be working and everyone seemed to be having a whale of a time. I must admit to shouting at some children, I think I was justified. I went to queue for a dingy for G and I to go on the ‘Master Blaster’, the queue is about 20-30 minutes long, and whilst it’s not too bad, it certainly eats into your time. There was a group of four boys in-front of me, probably aged 10-12, I looked around, and suddenly the group had increased to eight. Without thinking my mouth just shouted..

‘Er, what’s with the pushing in lads’

They all looked a bit taken aback, I think I looked angry.. The fattest kid stammered ‘Er.. Er.. Erm.. Nothing’

I pointed my finger at them.

‘Now, shall I get that lady (the staff member) to come over here, or are you going to join the back of the queue?’

Without saying a word back to me, the queue jumpers solemnly wandered off to join the end of the queue.

Jesus, I don’t do stuff like that.. I’d probably muster a loud ‘tut’ and shake my head, but the words and stern looks just seem to pop out. I wasn’t aggressive, I think just ‘stern dad’, and of course I was right, they shouldn’t push in, the queue is long enough without some little bastards making it longer. In the end the whole group left the queue.. SWEET! 🙂

G loved the Master Blaster, it is pretty shit scary for a flume, I thought she might be petrified, but she came off buzzing and saying ‘WHOA! WHOA! THAT WAS EPIC!’. We all had a fantastic time in the pool, it really is a great place to go (if a little expensive!).

We went for lunch in the Secret Garden Restaurant, the menu was a little limited really, but the food was lovely, and the staff were fabulous, we had the same waitress that served us on our honeymoon!

The rest of the afternoon was spent playing ‘Extraordinary Golf’ (Mini Golf), and then going to Alton Towers to have a look around the aquarium ‘Shark Bait Reef’. I’d not actually been in there before, but was really impressed by it. G and Loz loved the rock pool with the shrimps that you can put your hands into and the shrimps nibble on them, I refrained, I hate that shit..

When we left I had a little look around ‘Mutiny Bay’, everything was all closed and a bit sad looking, and we decided it was time to head home. Thankfully the drive back was VERY good, and we arrived home fairly tired, fairly poor, but VERY happy.

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